Culture Shock – Questioning the Efficacy and Safety of Probiotics


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  • One of the problems I see here, is the term "pro-biotic" as if it is just one single organism, there are hundreds of different pro-biotic bacteria, that react with our bodies in different ways. and, we also must take each individuals own genetics and diet into account.

    Imagine if we used the word, "food" the same way we generalize "pro-biotic" I could say food can kill you and is dangerous, and technically I would be correct. so would you agree that what specific foods and quantities is consumed is important?

    L. acidophilus will affect someone different than say B. longum , and as many others have stated in the comments section, what a person likes to eat will have effect on what populations of pro-bacteria will flourish in our bodies.

    As for the pro-biotics in food, I would think that most processed food is sterile, with the intention of the manufactures wish of increasing shelf life. nuked, heated, treated, anything to make that product not rot on the shelf.

    I would go as far as to say that any bacteria on fresh produce, will not only vary by how its grown, ( Organic vs Non Organic ) but also in the location, and even the variety / cultivar of the veggie or fruit.

  • when I take 100 billion probiotic it always gets rid of my bloating and honestly helps. perhaps it is bad for some but I can noticeably tell an improvement 😀

  • I'd be interested to see results for fecal transplants. Even fecal transplants after probiotics. Given that most of the immune system if focused on the gut, one would expect to see a healthy patient eliminate harmful bacteria and provide material for an effective transplant. Additionally, the remaining bacteria would be less prone to immune attacks, which seems to me the most likely culprit for probiotics in pancreatitis.

  • I think if you are transitioning from the SAD into a plant-based diet, probiotics are a good "quick fix" to repair gut flora. After the transition, you need not take anymore.

  • What if much of what the human race suffers with is tied to a critical endocannabinoid deficiency and what if hemp oil (CBD) is the answer?

    Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2016 Jul 1;1(1):154-165. doi: 10.1089/can.2016.0009. eCollection 2016.
    Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes.
    Russo EB1.
    Author information

    Medicine continues to struggle in its approaches to numerous common subjective pain syndromes that lack objective signs and remain treatment resistant. Foremost among these are migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome, disorders that may overlap in their affected populations and whose sufferers have all endured the stigma of a psychosomatic label, as well as the failure of endless pharmacotherapeutic interventions with substandard benefit. The commonality in symptomatology in these conditions displaying hyperalgesia and central sensitization with possible common underlying pathophysiology suggests that a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency might characterize their origin. Its base hypothesis is that all humans have an underlying endocannabinoid tone that is a reflection of levels of the endocannabinoids, anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide), and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, their production, metabolism, and the relative abundance and state of cannabinoid receptors. Its theory is that in certain conditions, whether congenital or acquired, endocannabinoid tone becomes deficient and productive of pathophysiological syndromes. 

    When first proposed in 2001 and subsequently, this theory was based on genetic overlap and comorbidity, patterns of symptomatology that could be mediated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and the fact that exogenous cannabinoid treatment frequently provided symptomatic benefit. However, objective proof and formal clinical trial data were lacking. Currently, however, statistically significant differences in cerebrospinal fluid anandamide levels have been documented in migraineurs, and advanced imaging studies have demonstrated ECS hypofunction in post-traumatic stress disorder. Additional studies have provided a firmer foundation for the theory, while clinical data have also produced evidence for decreased pain, improved sleep, and other benefits to cannabinoid treatment and adjunctive lifestyle approaches affecting the ECS.

    Huntington disease; Parkinson disease; THC; anandamide; anorexia nervosa; cannabidiol; cannabinoids; depression; endocannabinoids; fibromyalgia; irritable bowel syndrome; migraine; motion sickness; multiple sclerosis; post-traumatic stress disorder; prebiotics

  • Most probiotics sold are dairy based. MEH.

    Water Kefir, good ol sauerkraut and Apple cider vinegar or Kombucha are vegan af and inexpensive.

    Also FOS made with polyfructose are toxic af. Beware

  • I had SIBO and probiotics were a big part of my recovery as they controlled the chronic gas and the amount of harmful bacteria.. Since my gut had turned into a sieve i'm sure those probiotics were able to just pass on through my gut wall in the early stages.

  • Aren't people recovering surgery likely to be on antibiotics? Then giving probiotics would be, well, silly. And if you have a properly functioning stomach, the typical probiotic pill is not likely to survive transporting live bacteria to your lower GI anyway. But from my perspective, a lot of people do not have totally functional stomachs, so….. Many questions here.

  • Yeo Valley Organic Live Yogurt? It contains specific bacterial live culture such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium and also Streptococcus Thermophilus.
    Is it healthy? Or should it be considered unhealthy as per dairy products!

  • Many thaanks Dr. Greger 🙂 But please a little bit slowlier spoken. For non-experts its difficult to understand and remind. Always stopping and going back is also not so good.

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